Monday, October 12, 2015

Decided to Take the Harley

Decided to Take the Harley

 I’m not sure if it’s just an urge I get sometimes, a whim now and than or some kind of calling that egg me on to want to trout fish. 

 After tying flies all day Saturday I was thinking about trout fishing on Sunday. I’ve been bass fishing and steelhead fishing the past few weeks and was thinking about trout while I was tying. The state had just stocked Neshannock Creek the past week and I figured this would be a good place to bend a rod. I called a friend and we agreed on meeting in the morning at the creek.
 It’s been typical fall weather here in Pennsylvania. 40 degrees something in the morning and 60’s to 70’s after noon. With the van giving me problems lately I decided to take the Harley.

 I put my 5 piece fly rod, waders and wading boots in the back pack and the rest of my fishing gear in the saddlebags and leather tour pack. I bundle up for the morning ride in warm clothes including a tossle cap, gloves and balaclava. As I pull out of the driveway it is 43 degrees in the shade but I knew it was warmer than that but not by much. The neon sign, at the custom Kitchen cabinet shop  down the road, reads 45 degrees. It will take over an hour by the time I get to the creek so I put a song in my head, take in the autumn scenery and motor on.
 I didn’t take the interstate but kept to the country roads. The smell of burning wood, in home fireplaces, is a pleasant odor. Along the way Amish buggies, pulled by horses, are on their way to a community home for Sunday services. Colorful leaves glisten in the trees, upon the rising sun, from the morning moisture. Fallen leaves litter the blacktop as my exhaust pipes clear the roadway for the next rider. Under my tossle capped ears the V-Twin hums along the lonely straight-a-ways but breaks the peacefulness with loud rumbling as I crack the throttle up hills and through bends. The small towns and sleepy villages I drive through are quaint with little human activity. Out on the country roads again, the fenced animals are grazing without concern of the outside world. Though chilly it is a pleasant ride.
 I pull into the fly shop parking lot about 10:30am. I was just putting my fly rod sections together when Randy pulled up beside me in his car. We exchange greetings and get ourselves ready to do some trout fishing.
 There is already a team of anglers lined up in front of the fly shop fishing nymphs. Up creek there looks to be quite enough guys fishing below the dam with one fisherman fishing the deepest part of the shallow riffles. The water is quite low and very clear except for the shaded areas. We decide to fish down creek away from the others.
 It feels good to be out of the heavy clothes I had been wearing. I fish in a T-shirt and a fishing jacket. The sun is still rising and gives more clarity through the water. As we fish acorns plop into the water from squirrels which play in the trees that line the creek. After fishing a deep hole below the bridge we leisurely fish our way down stream. I now cast across creek and let my streamer swing with the slight current over the bed of rocks and wedged sticks beneath the water surface. Smoke rises from my cigar and lingers until a cool breeze blows and then it follows and dissipates. Occasionally the sound of a motorcycle is heard on the distant roadway as more cyclists are enjoying the sunshine and warmer temperature.

 A trout tugs at the line on the second strip towards me. I pull the line sharply , lift the rod to the side and that sets the hook. The trout splashes in the distant. I hold the cork handle as if gripping my cycle grips as I bring the trout towards me. After unhooking him I let it swim to freedom and we continue on down creek.

 I catch a few more trout down stream. The warmth of the noon day sun, now in full view, penetrates my jacket and warms my body.

 We cast lines out trying to land our offering between the fallen leaves that slowly drift with the current. We fish for about an hour and decide to head back up creek. I figure if I left by 4:30 that I would get home before dark and before the temperature dropped again.

 When we get back to the fly shop it is 4:00. I can’t resist and end up catching 3 more trout in less than a half hour before calling it quits. 

 At the cycle I change into my jeans and pack my fly fishing gear tightly in the saddlebags, leather tour pack and back pack. I still wear warm undergarments as I put my Harley jacket on. Randy and I say our good byes. I put my skull cap on and fire up the Springer. She comes to life with a rumble at fast idle. I let her warm up some on half choke. After putting on my goggles I flip the kickstand up and cautiously roll over the gravel to the blacktop. Once on the road I feel that freedom again. Something I can feel when I’m on my Harley and not confined in a motor car. It’s feeling the wind in my face and the coolness of the air that creeps through my jacket and layers of clothing that makes me feel more apart of the scenery. The smell of fresh earth, farmer’s fields, pine and the smell of a forest puts a smile on my face. I crack the throttle on the open road and the Harley livens up, grips the hardtop and thrusts forward with V-Twin power. The wind in my face feels cooler, the blood in my veims appears to pump faster and an excitement comes over me like the feeling I get with a big trout on a tight line.
 Maybe it never got to 70 degrees as predicted but the ride home, in the 60's, is more pleasant than the chilling ride was this morning. The fall colors of the trees are more prominent as I get closer towards my home nearing more forested areas. Now fresh mowed grass litters the roadway. A few Amish, in buggies, travel towards their own homes.
 It’s a sense of freedom whether it’s on my Harley or on a trout stream. I’m myself with my own thoughts away from the hustle and bustle of daily and routine life. I pull into the driveway, safe and calm. With the engine stopped the quietness now surrounds me. The warmth of the V-Twin rises and I can feel it beneath my leather chaps and smell the heat of the warm engine…




  1. I think I'm a bit too much of a gear junkie to ride a motorcycle to the river. I know...half that stuff you take never gets used anyway, but I still have a hard time leaving it at home.
    Looks like a great day for sure!

  2. ya, there is a big difference in taking the cycle instead of the van which has everything i might need including an extra pair of waders, rods, reels and wading boots. the ride home should is nicer on the cycle than the big ole' van!! Thanks, it turned out to be a good day.